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  • Writer's pictureMichael Reiber

The First Social Media Influencer Ever?

In this week’s episode, Mikey discusses how Soulja Boy changed the face of marketing music, mostly through pioneering grassroots social media promotion. In the Early-2000’s the internet as we know it today became available to the masses, revolutionizing life in a 21st century world. Social media ruled the webpages, allowing people to connect with the click of a button. As Soulja Boy rose to popularity, he was one of the first hip hop artists to capitalize on the social media storm. MySpace, Facebook, Youtube and the more music oriented Soundclick and LimeWire, were the spaces that Soulja Boy found his niche. Through Soundclick, Soulja linked his other profiles, which made it easy for fans to explore his content. In bringing Hip Hop to Youtube, his single “Crank That” was available to watch and learn the dance that became an icon of the Early-2000’s.

Soulja Boy was not only creating the rules for marketing online, but he was bending the rules too. In renaming his song, “Crank That” to other popular Hip Hop songs of the time period, he reached new audiences, new fans and new viewers, which skyrocketed his following. Additionally, the internet dance craze was pioneered through his music video. His video became accessible to everyone, and was able to unite people via Hip Hop in a way that no other artist had done before. This created a waterfall effect and inspired other record-breaking singles such as “Stanky Legg”, “Wobble” and “Teach Me How to Dougie”. Eventually, Soulja expanded his entrepreneurial empire, and is still a lasting example of the influence that strategic decisions can have on the future of music.

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